Let’s take a quick look at the customer habits of today. We all expect more for less; it’s cheap and easy to switch and being loyal is no longer a priority for any of us. This rings true for both B2B and B2C sales as we are all being more mindful of our money and budgets get squeezed tightly.
As youngsters when we take our first steps into the professional working world, it is drilled into many of us that it is more costly to convert a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. Certainly, that still applies. Customer retention doesn’t cost anywhere near as much money as customer procurement. It is simply a matter of keeping customers happy, well informed and keen to keep purchasing from you.
If I asked you to tell me the last time you received some good service, you’d probably be racking your brain for a good while. Yet tell me all about the last time you were treated poorly as a customer and I’ll bet that something springs to mind almost instantly. I’m right, right?
So what can you do to increase retention as a business? Using a good CRM system is likely to be your best bet. The idea behind it is simple enough: get to know your customers better than they know themselves, sell to them before they even know they need to purchase and keep a complete record of every scrap of customer information.
A CRM system can make you look like a customer service superhero with knowledge at your fingertips, yet little do they know that you’ve got a powerful CRM system as your sidekick.
They say knowledge is power and power is money. Ergo, knowledge is money. Knowing your customer inside out and back to front will make them feel valued and more than happy to keep coming back to spend with you.
But how can a CRM system transform your customer loyalty?
Customers develop loyalty towards many aspects of a business, be it your product, image, brand, other customer reviews and even price. A complete CRM system combines value-added incentives, customer likelihood to switch, price sensitivity, marketing correspondence received, all customer details and even relevant personal information and notes. It is everything a business could ever need to retain customers, secure repeat orders and maximize customer service.
A CRM system is not limited to one department of a company; instead, a good customer relationship management system flows through business functions, from marketing and sales into service and support. Business is no longer about making a sale, but about providing solutions that meet customer requirements. To keep up and remain competitive, businesses have to move from sales into relationships, from transactions to interactions.
A strong relationship that is effectively managed with a CRM system builds value. It is as simple as that. Strong relationships will only get stronger and high value customers can be treasured, while smaller customers can be made to feel like VIPs. You can foster strong relations simply by keeping on top of which products interest a customer, which products are typically bought together, understand what marketing collateral they have received as well as any common interests or personal information that make a call personal.
There are many features within a good CRM system that are simple enough, but make customer retention a breeze. Choose a date range for the date of last contact, flag customers that haven’t had a courtesy call in the last two weeks and take an hour out of your day to check in with them. You don’t have to sell to them, but just say hello, be polite and have a chat.
Track time sensitive details, particularly if you are selling consumables such as ink, paper, pens and the like. These won’t last forever and if you make a call or drop a note around the right time, you’ll be making reordering easy.
But the biggest advantage of any CRM system is simply making sure all employees have a complete visibility of each and every one of your customers, interactions and history with your company.
In my honest opinion, I think a good CRM is the only way to better manage your customers and ensure that they are always smiling. No matter how hard you try as a business; you’ll never be humanly able to remember every single detail about every one of your customers. Having a CRM makes it easy to search and find customer information that can be actioned.
What are your opinions on CRM? Maybe you agree with me that it is invaluable to every business or perhaps you have found another way to manage your customer relationship – leave your thought in the comments section below!